To all of you, we wish you a very Merry Christmas (as much as social distancing will permit) and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

A very great thank you to all of you for your unconditional support, your enthusiasm, and your investment in the museum. The museum project finally broke ground early this summer. It has been a long and tortuous path to get to that point but the way ahead now looks clear and straight. We lifted the building, rebuilt the foundations, replaced the rotten sills, repaired all the structural timbers and lowered the building back down. It now has the near rectangular shape it had when it was first built. We even identified and preserved the original irregularities. The building is now winterized and nothing much will happen until next spring.

We have not encountered any significant problems and are within our budget. Next spring we will restore the two modified rafters, build the handicap ramp, replace the roof, finish the exterior and rebuild the loading dock. We do not anticipate any further delays or problems.

In parallel, we have been defining the museum and designing the internal layout for the phase 2 construction. Several of you have been actively involved with these discussions and we are moving towards a final definition. Our original goal is unchanged - to create a model railroad layout showing how the arrival of the railroads transformed these isolated villages into interconnected bustling manufacturing centers. We are exploring ways to deepen and expand the historical and educational experience for one-time visitors with layers of Augmented Reality and additional links to original material. We also are convinced that the key to enthusiastic adoption by the community is interactivity and, to that end, we are developing ways for anyone to operate trains, from simple run around in a limited area to full operation of the whole layout. With this ability, visitors can increase their ability to operate increasingly more complex situations thereby earning credits, merit badges, or graduating to become a docent.

We believe that this combination of a sophisticated and layered historical presentation together with interactive operation by all visitors will ensure the museum’s acceptance by the public, will result in multiple visits and enable it to generate sufficient revenue for break-even operation.

While Wolfeboro as a tourist destination will have many one-time visitors to the museum (providing a steady revenue stream), our larger goal is to encourage multiple visits by providing a rewarding and challenging operating experience. We should be able to extend this operating experience beyond the physical museum to the virtual realm, allowing remote interaction with the trains, remote monitoring of movements on the layout and remote linking with the historical presentations.
I hope that you all can see that we are reaching for a unique museum experience, one that, to our knowledge, has not been presented in New England, and which will be an attraction in and of itself. There will be many challenges ahead but we are hard at work to define these and develop realistic solutions.

Two of our challenges are the rapid evolution of social media and changes in the software tools to exploit virtual reality. Will everyone be taking selfies 10 years from now? Will today's teenagers still text each other instead of talking? Our success will correlate with our ability to understand these trends and cater to the visitor of the future.

Exciting and challenging times! And you are all part of this great project.

I hope you are as excited as I am about what we are working on. And I hope you all will continue your support of this amazing project.
Meanwhile, please stay healthy by taking wise precautions and staying away from strangers.

I wish to thank each and every one of you for your support, for the work you have contributed, and for your confidence in us.

If you, or anyone you know, might be able to help us with formulating this novel museum experience, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas.

John Simms.
Back in 2013 purchased some resin freight car kits for the Union, NH Heritage Park Railroad Museum's 1909 era Boston & Maine HO scale model railroad exhibit.

Have been assembling three of the kits, each of which just left the paint and decal shop. Each car with one wheel per truck w/resister for operating  on Freiwald TrainController German software computer-controlled layout. Remains for cars to be weathered.

Much of the description below accompanied the car kits.

1. 1890 era Tiffany Refrigerator Car.  Tiffany Refrigerator Car Company patented and built c. 4,500 "Summer & Winter" refrigerator cars and leased to various railroads.  Tiffany "claim to fame" was design of car and the cooling features which placed three ice hatches mounted in the roof walk w/hatches opening to the car sides.


Car kits were produced by Bob McGlone and John Canfield of Virginia Foundry & Model Works, Va. Beach, VA.

Decals by Art Griffin.  Early photos rare.  No photos indicate dark sides. Some modelers claim sides were white, gray, or yellow.  Others claim sides were pale green based on 1880's paint color chip called Tiffany Car green.This car done in pale green: 50/50 Polly Scale Dark Green & Light Gray. Roof: Scalecoat II Roof Brown. Underframe: Badger ModelFlex black.

Trucks very unique. Penamint Model's 3-D printed plastic T-82 wood transom swing-motion archbar trucks w/outside brake beams and Intermountain wheel sets.

2. 1890's era Union Tank Line car.  John D. Rockefeller first oil refiner to recognize importance of securing own fleet of tank cars.  Union Tank Line was a subsidiary of Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company.  By 1895, Standard Oil refined 88% of U.S. oil, owned a 6,000 tank car fleet and became a great monopoly.


Car kit produced by Silver Crash Car Works based on 1895 Car Builder's Dictionary. This model lasted well into the teens of 1900.

Car 37' overall w/tank length 32'.  Capacity was 8,000 gallons w/tank divided into 5 courses connected by double rivet rows.  Recent research suggests car painted fire engine red and lettered in silver.  Decals produced by Silver Crash.  The car painted Tru-Color Paint Cornell Red.

3. 1902 40' Fruit Growers Express (FGE) Refrigerator Car.  First built by American Car & Foundry for FGE, a subsidiary of the Armour Car Lines. This
50,000 pound capacity wood underframe 40' refrigerator car was lengthier than the more standard 36' and occasional 38'-8" reefers of the era.  Car kit was jointly produced by Bob McGlone and John Canfield of Virginia Foundry & Model Works, Va. Beach, VA.


Original decals for this car provided by Art Griffin.  Failed to locate decals upon completion of assembly.  Since Art Griffin decals no longer available,
Jim Abbott of Highball Graphics viewing photos of FGE pilot model did a superb job of producing the decals found on this 1902 FGE model.

Some modelers view side surfaces painted as orangy-yellow color, others pale yellow. The yellow surfaces on this model achieved using 50/50 mix of
Badger ModelFlex Reefer Yellow and Gray.  Roof and ends Tru-Color Paint Iron Oxide. Underframe Badger ModelFlex Black. A review of early photos indicate no blackened hardware. Trucks: #211Tahoe Model Works archbar.

Ideal project for current virus lifestyle.

Bill
 

Dave Emery scaled up the Kennebec Central roundhouse to accommodate larger HOn30 locos (scratchbuilt in wood)

There’s a build thread on Railroad-Line.com:  http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=53029

 

A related project is a coaling facility for those little locos. 

This was done by scaling -down- a standard gauge kit by Durango Press.

The build thread for this project is here:  http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=53029

These were a lot of fun, and are my major accomplishments this summer.

Extracted from the June 12 Model Railroading Derry Fun Night Modeler's Showcase 

 

From Dick Forde: 

A Tyco Ten Wheeler rebuild out of the paint shop. Next step is the detail shop. “What the hell, it keeps me off the street!”

 

 

Now that the model has been detailed and painted Dick offers how he added a coal load in the tender:

Original cast in coal load looks very unrealistic. 

Build up the coal pile, add coal and wet it with water/detergent/white glue mix.

 

Completed coal pile (now just add the shovel!) Black sand from Dollar Tree for $1.00 a bag was used for the coal load. A bag should last a lifetime. 

Extracted from the June 12 Model Railroading Derry Fun Night Modeler's Showcase

 

From Dan Raymond: 

Dan has been busy building more trucks:

 

 

 

 

Jim Gore MMR reports: "We moved to NH in late March.  The layout room is yet another year away.
 
Here’s a bucket coal-loader which will occupy a spot in Santa Fe on my narrow gauge Jemez & Rio Grande."
 
 
A couple of photos of models I have done in the last few weeks.
 
First is a snow spreader in On30 based on a Monson R.R. two foot prototype. The flat car is a Train Troll kit and the wings, frame and other details are scratchbuilt.
 
 
The station, also in O scale, is based on a model presented in the March, 2020 Railroad Model Craftsman. It is constructed mostly of styrene and has been "Mainized" to fit in on my South China and Sheepscot River On30 layout. It is one of six small depots that I can change out on the layout.